Broken

Sometimes we wake up to the deep strangeness of our lives and it threatens to wreck everything Two tiny white lizard eggs appeared in the latch of the door right where the sun comes through And I, quick-fingered and careless, sent them flying to the ground as soon as I tried to gather them Somehow…

How We Say Your Name

Tamir Rice. 12-years-old. Tamir Rice threw a snowball up — watched it fall. Tamir Rice, black child, surrounded by white snow. ‘What is that in your hand?’ no one asked. He got three seconds: the first, his trial – the second, deliberation – the third, a verdict. Guilty. Innocent. Irrelevant. Tamir Rice dead, and violated…

Unpacking the Past

About a week ago the five month anniversary of my motorbike accident in Tanzania passed by with little more than a sigh, as if a wind blew in Africa and rustled the leaves of a tree where I once sat, and I thought of its broad limbs at that exact instant. The sight of the…

This is Recovery, This is Healing.

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -Louisa May Alcott Since my accident and subsequent return to the United States, I’ve been doing all I can to avoid slipping into a catatonic stupor or mindless depression induced by bed rest and boredom. The pile of books that…

Volunteer Alliance Ambassadors

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.” -Katharine Hepburn In 2007, I co-founded an organization called Volunteer Alliance with a small group of inspiring new friends and co-workers in Tanzania. We wanted to start a movement of empowered and…

On becoming…

“Man is not fully conditioned and determined; he determines himself whether to give in to conditions or stand up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist, but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” -Viktor Frankl

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You- Part III

Killian, our inimitable Kilimanjaro guide, had come to Dar as he promised and visited me the day I fainted in the market. When he arrived at the apartment I was lying down, still colorless and weak. “You gon’ be alright, I know it,” he told me. “Hakuna kisanga, dada. I feel real bad this happened…

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You: Part II

I woke up from surgery stuck in my head. I couldn’t feel my body, or anything physical at all. I was only aware of my own consciousness, floating in a warm, black space. I had no memory, no sense of identity, and no knowledge of the world’s existence. It was extremely calm. I wondered how…

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You: Part I

It all started with my underwear. Or lack of them. Don’t take that the wrong way, it’s not how it sounds. I know, it’s a strange way to start out talking about a near-fatal accident in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on my back in a puddle with my neck on the curb, my motorbike mangled…

Climbing Kilimanjaro

“I wonder if there’ll be another time as good as this.”-Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro Before a few days ago, the snows of Kilimanjaro were for me more like clouds than anything else. Maybe just a little brighter as they shone with reflected sunlight from their heights above Moshi, Tanzania. I made the decision…

Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968 Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day… These are two of my favorite quotes from King, and I think they are especially relevant following the recent earthquake in Haiti. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a…

Goodbye Babu.

Yesterday I sat at my computer for most of the day, angry to be locked inside writing graduate school papers while white sand beaches and Dar’s infinite adventures waited just outside the door. I checked my email every so often, looking for a distraction. In the small gmail chat box, I saw a name appear…

The First Quarter

A fourth of my year in Tanzania has passed. Three months. I never felt like a small-town girl til I lived in the big city. But Dar es Salaam is big in a small way. Goats clop along busy city streets, chickens ride the buses tucked under the arms of tired women, children roll tires…

The Paradox

Last week I turned in a paper for my State and Civil Society class in the Masters of Development Studies program at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). The prompt was: Analyze the paradox between the World Economy that is continuously internationalizing and the world political systems that are compartmentalized into separate nation-states. Choose…